25 February 2009

Birthday Prep and Stuttgart Report

So, as we know from last year's cultural comparison blog entry, in Germany, it's bad luck to wish someone a happy birthday before their birthday. However, I've been wishing myself a happy birthday all day by doing things to make my birthday more enjoyable (also known as "free to study as long as I want to")--things like laundry, packing for Frankfurt (the whole Mormon population of Germany is fleeing there to hear President Oaks speak and even the temple inn is full!), de-stinking the kitchen, scrubbing my muddy shoes, cleaning out-of-town roommates' dishes, bringing the non-alcoholic glass to the neighborhood recycle bin (I don't do the alcoholic ones), getting cherries for my birthday twin's pie (we're celebrating in Frankfurt before the fireside), impulse buying 6 Berliners at Aldi, eating all six very low-quality donuts, and the like.

I haven't yet reported on Stuttgart. We (Aaron, Kenneth, Bryan, and I) left on Friday afternoon in Aaron's dad's tiny, oooold car, arriving in Stuttgart about 5 hours and one question interpreted as a proposal later. I then proceeded to eat all the dessert I couldn't handle. Over the next several hours, I said goodbye to the dessert and hello to blisters, but the dancing was so awesome and continuous that I didn't care. I was glad to dance with some new guys, sad to see one guy kiss a girl (though she's totally cute and deserves him), and maybe overexcited to talk about missionary work.

We (that is Aaron, a guy who talked so much about American politics that I asked him to please stop, and I) got to sleep in an apartment of a young member couple who are moving. It was so hot, I sweated the whole night and considered turning off the heater. During breakfast, Mr. American Politics talked about how he couldn't sleep because he was freezing the whole night.

Aaron's car wouldn't start for at least 20 minutes. On the way into the city after dropping off Mr. American Politics, Aaron and I hung out at the five-level former wardhouse-turned-institute building. There are at least two and a half levels to that thing that aren't really needed anymore. Then we saw a Japanese garden, walked into the city, and were convinced by those we randomly saw there to go to the Porsche museum.

I happily stayed in the car to read and take a nap and was actually disappointed when they came back after only an hour. Our next adventure included exploring Aldi for something to drink and heading to volleyball--the only actually planned activity for the day, but which was then rejected by Kenneth and Bryan. Aaron and I played anyway, and although I was a bit scared that playing would be bad for my knee (which is still sore when I put pressure on the ever-red spot), I was able to avoid any hard lands and even had one good over-the-net hit. But then my back started hurting so bad I couldn't really sit down, stand up, or move. (Amy . . . remember our conversation about tracking my life by health issues?) We left an hour early to appease the other two, who we dropped off at the wardhouse to meet up with the girl whose house they'd arranged for themselves to sleep at. Then we hit the town! Okay, we bought a döner and walked along the main street, where I got this picture:

Isn't it cool that people were walking in front of me while this picture was being exposed, but they didn't show up? Then we got to stay at another member's apartment, where we watched Bedtime Stories. It was a horrible, horrible movie (I'm not an Adam Sandler fan except in very specific cases) I can tell you, even though I was basically in and out of sleep the whole time.

The next morning, we missed sacrament meeting because the car wouldn't start at all and we had to call ADAC to come help. I got to watch as the guy sprayed stuff on the engine which then started on fire, and which he promptly blew out. Awesome.

And that was Stuttgart. After dropping off the two guys at their houses, I made a real Sunday dinner . . . and within thirty minutes! We had corn, potatoes, gravy, chicken, and corn bread (which everyone here considers cake, so I said it was dessert instead of a repeat of the corn).

I loved seeing good friends for the weekend. I'll report later on the latest trip to Frankfurt . . .


  1. Those are some awesome pictures! And I'm really sorry you had to spend so much time in a car with mr. american politics.

  2. Yeah, sorry I'm going private. I just have this crazy ex-boyfriend that I don't want reading my blog. I might go public again in a few months once I think he's given up trying to see it.

  3. Happy Birthday! I love hearing about your adventures (and I also hate listening to Europeans go on and on about American politics).

  4. So as a newcomer to your life, has your birthday come and gone?

    And I thought the Swiss were the only ones who knew more about American politics than Americans!

    Thanks for a peek into your life!

    Sister G